A 45 year old witch-doctor of Samfya district in Luapula has been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour for indecently assaulting 5 elderly people.
Appearing before Justice Mary Mulanda, Bernard Mumba of Mansa district, was slapped with 10 counts of indecent assault contrary to Section 137 clause 1 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia; as amended by Act number 15 of 2005.
Facts before the High Court were that on August 20, 2018, Bernard Mumba a witch-doctor of Samfya district willfully and unlawfully assorted Edward Kasuba, Cecilia Mushibwa, Bupe Chitomombo, Delfista Kabumbe and Albina Chapela.
The witch-doctor accused the five people of causing death using witchcraft of a boy who fail off a bicycle and died.
Mr Mumba ordered the accused persons to sleep on the ground and then rolled on them as a way of exorcising them of the charms they possessed in full view of the public.
Mr Mumba continued the exorcism by taking the 5 elderly people to the grave yard where he assigned each of them with a grave and ordered them to undress, which they willingly did in fear of being lynched by the public.
The defendant however denied ordering the accusers to undress saying they are the ones who took him to the graveyard to prove how they practised their witchcraft.
Justice Mulanda read the facts before the court that in addition to the ten counts of indecent assault, the Subordinate Court in Mansa district charged him with conducting activities at the graveyard without a permit from the relevant authorities.
In mitigation, the accused begged the court to exercise maximum leniency on him, saying he was a first offender who also regrets his actions.
Mr Chavula told the court that his client has a sick wife and six children who have no one to provide for them.
In passing judgement, Justice Mulanda noted that after carefully considering the facts, it cannot be denied that the convict ordered the 5 elderly persons to sleep on the ground and also to undress by the grave each was assigned.
She said she does not accept Mr Mumba’s statement that he did not order the accusers to undress for he was the one who was in charge of the whole process.
Justice Mulanda said she is satisfied that the evidence in this matter supports the sentence of indecent assault of all the 10 counts.
She then sentenced Mumba to 18 years on each count to run concurrently adding that he has the right to appeal within 30 days if he is not satisfied with her ruling.